The Seeker of Peace

Written Releasing
January 2, 2009, 3:02 pm
Filed under: spirituality | Tags: , , ,

In the Sedona Method course, Hale Dwoskin suggests writing thoughts down as we release them. His explanation is that the paper serves, in a sense, as a releasing partner. I did this when I first took the audio course about a year and a half ago. Soon afterwards, being an efficiency expert, I created word processor templates and switched to typing my answers instead.

As I wrote last week, I’ve been going through a patch where releasing has been much more difficult for me. With the holidays over, company gone, and kids soon to return to school, I figured now was the time to dedicate myself to getting past my resistance. I decided to go back to trying pen and paper while doing an “advantages and disadvantages” exercise on my health, an area where I’ve been conflicted for a while.

I’ve written before about how I was able to get insight by free writing about my job and spiritual progress. I don’t know if I would have gotten similar results by typing. I wondered if releasing with paper would be more productive than typing my thoughts had been.

The answer was most definitely yes. The process went much slower than with a computer, in the sense of the number of thoughts released per hour. However, the process seemed much more effective, and I felt a deeper sense of relief and insight.

I don’t know what it is about typing that makes it less effective for me as a releasing tool. Maybe it’s that I associate the computer with working, or that the “efficiency” of a computer made me move on to the next thought too quickly. In any case, using a computer was definitely a false economy for me.

I’m still working myself out of the spiritual slump that I’ve been in the past couple of weeks. I guess this is a reminder that sometimes it’s just best to go back to basics.


Controlling God
November 13, 2008, 10:18 am
Filed under: God, spirituality | Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been frustrated for some time by my inability to speak to God, get “signs,” or otherwise get clear divine guidance. I’ve read so many stories of people who can ask God for advice and get a response. I’ve been diligently asking, so why not me?

Yesterday, I received what may have been an answer. Hale Dwoskin runs monthly support calls for graduates of the Sedona Method. I rarely listen to these, but yesterday I had the unusual urge to download the latest recording and listen to it while preparing lunch.

One of the callers was asking for relationship advice. Hale pointed out that the caller was trying to control the relationship. He made the comment that when you try to speed up a relationship, you wind up slowing it down. That comment struck me very hard.

I’ve been trying to control my relationship with God, dictating what I want and making clear my expectations (clear advice, etc.). There’s something inherently paradoxical in saying, “Dear God, I want to surrender to your will. So, give me clear guidance, and I want it now!”

Part of the problem is that I’ve been trying to make myself believe in God. I’ve been trying to create a degree of faith to support this belief. I’ve fallen into the trap of being religious instead of spiritual. What an ego trap! I’ve deliberately put energy into creating a new belief that allows me to judge my relationship with God.

I don’t know if I’ll get the clear guidance that I’m looking for. (And, maybe, my sudden inclination to listen to Hale’s call was clear guidance.) What I do know is that, if there is a God, trying to judge and control our relationship won’t help me.

The Dilemma of Goals
October 17, 2008, 7:47 am
Filed under: God, World | Tags: , , , , , ,

I look for wisdom from an eclectic variety of sources. Usually, the non-dualistic ones are compatible in their teachings. Lately, I’ve been struggling with a case where two of my favorite sources go in very different directions.

The Sedona Method has specific techniques for working on goals. Most of the examples from the course are worldly goals, such as getting money, losing weight, etc. Hale Dwoskin even promotes his role in The Secret. The idea is that once you let go of your emotions involving a goal, it will just manifest in your lap.

By contrast, A Course in Miracles has as one of its early workbook lessons the idea that “I do not perceive my own best interests.” That makes a lot of sense – if my ego is the source of my unhappiness, as the Sedona Method teaches, why should I trust it to set goals for me? If my ego tells me I want a new Ferrari, why should I believe it?

Indeed, the goal technique of the Sedona Method, like The Secret and The Law of Attraction, seems to feed the ego by giving it what it thinks it wants. At least the Sedona approach has you work on your ego’s attachment to the goal first, but it’s still putting the ego in the driver’s seat.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I’ve never successfully manifested anything. (If you have, I’d love for you to post a comment!) I’ve succeeded in accomplishing goals, but it was through work and effort, not by having something drop into my lap. Perhaps I’m simply justifying my failure by rationalizing that I’m better off not manifesting anything.

However, I don’t think that’s the case. As I mentioned a few days ago in my post about Job, unexpected things can help along the spiritual path. Assuming that manifestation works, isn’t that just another egocentric way to avoid our lessons?

Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira, in Take Me to Truth: Undoing the Ego, present the idea that as you undo your ego, your wants and needs come into alignment. In this context, your “wants” are exactly what they sound like, while your “needs” are whatever you need to get closer to God. And, the great thing about this alignment is that it you then get what you want with no effort.

So far, the goals I’ve achieved in life have been a mixed bag in terms of bringing me happiness. For now, I’m going to stick to spiritual goals only. I figure there are a few goals, like better perceiving the voice of God, that don’t risk feeding my ego further.

To Whom Do We Pray?
October 7, 2008, 9:14 pm
Filed under: God | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m on day 38 of the workbook from A Course in Miracles, and I’m finding it very profound. A friend suggested I look at Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata: A Return to Prayer. I did, and had a hard time with the prayers she suggests.

The only way I’ve been able to accept God is to adopt the non-dualistic, immanent view: God is everything, including us, and it’s only our egos that make us feel like we’re separate. This is consistent with what Hale Dwoskin teaches in The Sedona Method, as well as what I’ve learned so far from the Course.

Yet Marianne’s prayers seem to address a completely external, transcendent god. Since she’s a teacher of the Course, this actually make me worry that I had fundamentally misunderstood what I’d learned in the Course so far. Then, fortunately, I had a major insight.

What I realized was that, really, my ego is separate from God. If, as Hale describes it, my ego is a layer of stuff obscuring the underlying Beingness (his usual term for God), then the ego does in fact have to look outside itself in order to ask for help. It’s not that God is outside me, but that the ego is outside God.

So, having a prayer ask for God’s help suddenly makes a lot more sense, even if God is immanent. All problems must be problems of the ego, and thus it makes sense to have it address God as an external entity. God never has any problems, and thus never has reason for prayer, and that’s why we don’t have prayers written to ourselves. That would suggest that the ego could solve its own problems.

This is yet another example of how my traditional Jewish religious education, and my subsequent rebellion against it, throws up stumbling blocks to my understanding. I can only hope that once one gets over the hill of accepting God, that one starts to pick up speed!